10 July, 2015, Autocar Professional
Tata Motors has bagged an order to supply around 1,200 units of its high-mobility 6×6 multi-axle trucks, from the Indian Army.
The order, worth Rs 900 crore, is the single largest awarded to an Indian private OEM in land systems under the DPP by the Indian Army. The order for 6×6 vehicles is for ‘Material Handling Cranes’ for the loading-unloading and transportation of ammunition pallets, spares and other operational equipment.
Developed indigenously, the Tata 6×6 high mobility all-terrain all-wheel drive vehicle, has completed a total trial duration of 25 months, demonstrating maximum performance in the most demanding conditions. Designed to cope with extreme on or off-road loads, these vehicles have undergone trials like water-fording, on cross-country terrains and plains and at VRDE’s (Vehicle Research & Development Establishment) torture track in Ahmednagar.
Tata Motors says the Tata 6×6, which is built on the Prima truck platform, is designed for easy operability. It is also easy to maintain, due to accessibility to its aggregates. The vehicle comes fitted with a central tyre inflation system (CTIS) for mobility in soft sand desert conditions, which is interpreted in extreme temperatures of -22degC and 50deg C. The CTIS allows the driver to adjust the tyre pressure from his seat. The system provides the vehicle with better traction on different types of surfaces, especially when carrying vital and heavy loads.
A Self-Recovery Winch assists in extraction of the vehicle (including other vehicles in the convoy) during operations. The vehicle cabin is modular with HVAC and is fully ready for up-armoring. High ground clearance enables better negotiation of gradients, sand dunes, off-road terrains, trenches with higher water and mud fording capabilities, whilst carrying designated military payloads. The vehicle is also capable of achieving sustained speeds of 40kph on severe cross country terrains.
Commenting on the order, Vernon Noronha, vice-president (Defence & Government Business), Tata Motors, “We at Tata Motors are extremely proud to have bagged the single largest order, among Indian OEMs from the Indian army, for the most technologically advanced High Mobility Load Carrier system ever built here in India. The order is a validation of our strategy and growth potential, for our durable and extensive range of defence vehicles, designed and developed with our evolving customers, including that of security forces across the world. We will shortly commence delivery of these high-mobility vehicles”.
“We see there is further business for us in the Future Infantry Combat Vehicles market, which is valued globally at about US$ 39 billion. Our current order book is at Rs 1,500 crore for the next two years. Also, the current revenue from the Indian defence this year is expected to be Rs. 1,200 crore,” added Noronha.
Tata Motors has defence vehicle manufacturing facilities in Jamshedpur and Pune. However, the current order is expected to be manufactured in its Dharwad plant, Karnataka. The company had a team of more than 80 members dedicated to the R&D work for the new 6×6 trucks.
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